Inns seek tens of millions for when they were shelters

Hotel Union Square’s cleanup monthly bill was steep — $5.6 million to repair service rampant smoke damage, broken light-weight fixtures, mold and other problems.

As town supervisors take into consideration shelling out tens of millions to settle the dispute more than damages at a single of San Francisco’s lodge homeless shelters, taxpayers could be on the hook for tens of millions a lot more to settle equivalent statements from other inns that participated in the software.

In September 2021, the house owners of Lodge Union Sq. submitted a assert with the town, alleging unhoused residents who the town had put there had triggered $5.6 million in damages — and value the Dallas-centered hotel operator hundreds of hundreds a lot more in dropped lease.

City officials made the Lodge Plan in 2020 through the COVID-19 pandemic and applied it to dwelling additional than 3,700 significant-risk residents in 25 accommodations. With federal and point out funding drying up, the town has slowly shut most of the hotels.

Reps from Lodge Union Sq. mentioned that a web site inspection “identified in depth damage” to the visitor rooms, frequent parts, and in other places on the residence.

“The city’s failure to immediately fix the problems to the resort as properly as its modest offers of remuneration are inconsistent” with the agreement it experienced struck with the lodge operator, a agent for the business wrote.

The remarks arrived with dozens of webpages detailing hurt to the rooms, from damaged baseboards to ruined lodge safes and other machines.

The town responded with an offer for about $400,000 to repair service the problems, and an extra $280,000 for lost rent, leading to the legal filing in January. In November, members of the city’s Authorities Audit and Oversight Committee satisfied in closed session to take into consideration a advice from the city’s Human Products and services Company to settle the claim for some $5.3 million.

The company is responsible for setting up and overseeing the provision of mass care and shelter all through emergencies, a spokesman said, which is why the company to begin with oversaw the lodge program.

“We feel the proposed settlement with Hotel Union Square is a good resolution to this make a difference,” said Jen Kwart, with the Metropolis Attorney’s Office environment. “We continue to have discussions aimed at addressing any remarkable concerns at other previous SIP hotel places.”

In the aftermath, Resort Union Square submitted the $5.6 million assert. Tilden Hotel also submitted a assert, in search of $6.5 million, documents exhibit. The Board of Supervisors also has ready for opportunity statements from the Superior Resort and Lodge Vertigo, both equally owned by Oxford Resorts & Resorts of Chicago.

A hotel operator from Hotel Union Sq. declined to solution queries or allow for The Chronicle to stop by and evaluation the destruction or ongoing repairs.

A agent for Tilden Hotel was not promptly obtainable for remark, and officers from Vertigo and the Superior Hotel did not answer to e-mails in search of comment.

Even though the town may possibly now be on the hook for north of $10 million, city officers defended the system, which they stated rehoused about 1,500 individuals.

Emily Cohen, spokesperson for the San Francisco Section of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, explained the method as “hugely successful” in blocking the spread of COVID amid the city’s most susceptible homeless citizens.

“I know what (the resort is) inquiring for is costly,” Cohen reported. “But in terms of life protected, homelessness ended, we still look at it a big accomplishment.”

Even though the town plans to entirely wind down the system by the finish of 2022, the town is in the procedure of purchasing one of the two hotels however housing residents — at 685 Ellis St. — which would inevitably be turned into long-lasting supportive housing, she stated.

City supervisors have satisfied in shut periods several situations more than the previous yr to discuss probable statements from Hotel Union Sq., Tilden Hotel and other people. Members of the board’s Authorities Audit and Oversight Committee are set to think about the motion again in closed session on Dec. 1. The comprehensive Board of Supervisors would then have to vote on the make a difference.

It is however unclear how numerous claims the town might face, but with a lot more than two dozen resorts participating with the application at its peak, city officers could shortly be contending with far more — specially since some Shelter-in-Position motels only just lately commenced winding down functions.

Town facts present there are nonetheless two hotels in the program, housing 297 friends.

Spokespeople for the supervisors on the committee referred inquiries to the Metropolis Attorney’s Place of work. But another, Aaron Peskin, acknowledged that some of the tenants of the lodges experienced brought about damage to the services and stated the town was prepared to shell out the real charge of the hurt — but no far more.

“When we fast housed 3,700 persons, we were being aware that some of them would be challenging consumers,” he said. “And the town is geared up to shell out for whatever serious hurt has been caused, at its real cost — and some of the claims were inflated, but we will spend is truly owed. Bottom line is, if it is genuine, we’ll settle. And if they consider they’re going to fleece San Francisco… we’ll litigate.”

San Francisco Chronicle employees author J.D. Morris contributed to this report.

St. John Barned-Smith is a San Francisco Chronicle personnel author. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @stjbs

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